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and the brass at the pentagon. >> is the real point here he's somebody because of that who has the credibility so that if he's the one who has to remake defense going forward, if he's to talk about cuts to systems he has that extra credibility? >> i think he does and that matters. we had great secretaries of defense that didn't serve. it's an important part as we enter this period. i think that with the real thing here, we take a step back, just look how far the republican party has moved in the last six years. you talked about a republican saying you're out of the mainstream means one thing, you're in the mainstream. because they've left. in 2006, john mccain was talking about chuck hagel as his secretary of state and now he's someone who he thinks is disqualified. from a big picture, the republicans have moved the neocons have such a hold on that party and i don't think that's mainstream thinking in america. >> do you think there is an element of political payback here? >> sure, listen, some of this is situation normal in washington, whether you're a democrat or republican, always trying to
, and former pentagon official and current foreign policy magazine columnist, rosa brooks. it is good to have you here with us. michelle, who i believe you worked with at the pentagon, tell me why i have it wrong or at least why you worry that hagel wouldn't be the right pick for this position. >> i don't know i would say ezra that hagel is the wrong pick, i just don't think he is the best pick. i think there are others around there who would have many of the upsides that hagel has, without the down sides that hagel has. if mitt romney had won and chosen him, i would have applauded him as real courage. chuck hagel has a lot going for him. he is a brave guy, a principled guy. there is a lot to like about him. he is also a republican, and the democratic party has worked really, really hard over past decades to erase the deficit, in which voters consistently said they trusted republicans more than democrats on national security. democrats have worked really hard to erase that gap, but picking chuck hagel seems to me to be sending a message i can't figure out president obama wants to send, i can'
to lead the pentagon and cia. >> these two leaders have dedicated their lives to protecting our country. i urge the senate to confirm them as soon as possible. >> both nominees face difficult questions before they are confirmed in the u.s. senate. chuck hagel seems perfect for the pentagon. a former republican senator from nebraska. some conservatives say he is not strong enough supporter of israel, even though he voted many times to send billions of dollars there. >> i will do my best for our country, for those i represent at the pentagon, and for all of our citizens. >> john brennan is a long time administration officials who spent 25 years in the cia. >> i will make my mission to ensure the cia has the tools it needs to keep our nation safe and that its work always reflects the liberties, the freedoms, and the values we hold dear. >> but he is controversial, too. he has been the public face of the legality of drone strike spread >> he understands we are a nation of laws. in moments of debates and decisions, he asks the tough questions and he insists on a rigorous standards. >> four year
, hagel at the pentagon, jack lew now at treasury? these are the big jobs, and it's sort of striking. you don't have women at the white house staff at the most senior levels. there are deputy chiefs of staff who are not even being mentioned as skrd to replace jack lew. >> it's the -- it's the optics. it doesn't help young women coming up to see these pictures. i think that the white house is always mentioning her az apossibility, and i think that was more just to let people know that they were considering a woman. i think that hagel was the choice the president all along, and that often happens. now, people -- the president and the people are saying, well, there's always women in the second tier jobs, but you don't see those women on tv. you see the secretaries and so, again, it's a problem with optics. >> susan page, you are such ab period of time as the bureau chief of usa today. mountain out of a mole hill, or as jean says, women have different experiences. we're 50% of the population, and being at the table makes a big difference. >> well, to be clear president obama has a pretty good
, national security correspondent jennifer griffin has the story from the pentagon. >> four months to the day since ambassador chrissteins and three others were killed in a terror attack on the u.s. benghazi mission, one of the only suspects in custody has been released. 26-year-old, tunisia detained in turkey was released by tunsen court due to lack of evidence according to the lawyer. he was present in the attack on the u.s. mission, fox news reported in november. based on video that the u.s. intelligence agencies had from the compound. his brother fought against the u.s. forces in iraq and his father encouraged both suns tovo themselveses in jihad, according to the lawyer. the f.b.i. gained access to him in late december. allowed to question him, in what some described as kangaroo court filled with protesters for three hours. law enforcement officials say he was, "probably not a big player in the attack." l others describe it as a setback to investigation that isn't progressing. >> the department of justice is quiet about this. i hope they treat it as a terrorist activity, not just police
he wore the uniform. always a challenge to the civilian leadership of the prosecute pentagon. at times of war. there's also a big policy debate in the next two years at the drawdown from afghanistan continues. then the other part of this is what is the big debate that's happening in this town over the next year, and it's going to be the budgets. the pentagon is a big part of this. what better than to have a republican senator be the guy on capitol hill lobbying and dealing with the pentagon, which is inevitable, but it's not an easy thing to do, so why not have a republican make that argument? it's the big picture thinking as far as the president is concerned. i want to talk to miling lighter for a moment. he had been at the cia and some said he wanted to be the first cia director. he was opposed by a lot of -- on the left when those that were against policies that he had after 9/11 and under the bush white house, including enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. >> why is he the right fit for cia? >> i think is he the right fit that he knows the building
. >> ashleigh, if you down size the pentagon politically, and that's what the president is going to do, it's not a bad idea the republicans think to have the republican at the helm because they're called soft on defense, et cetera, et cetera. when you're down sizing, have a republican lead the way. >> it makes for easier politics in some respects. let's switch to mr. brennan. this is another interesting choice and a lot of people have a lot of good things to say about john brenna. however, gler yeah, the n nomination process is problematic. the cv sounds terrific. when's the problem? >> i actually think that brennan will have a much easier time than chuck hagel. i think there are questions about how he felt about enhanced interrogation techniques as we call them, otherwise known as torture, during the bush administration. >> he didn't particularly dislike them, right? >> well no. he has come out and said he opposed them but there's also a question of using drones too much. there are a lot of democrats who believe that we've -- we're using drones too much so these questions are going to be
to barbara for a moment, barbara starr, our pentagon correspondent. what kind of feedback are you getting from folks over at the pentagon, barbara? >> reporter: well, at the pentagon, wolf, they know one of the major issues that chuck hagel is walking into when he comes there will be the budget, how to cut defense spending. and, you know, this is not -- this is a pentagon political issue inside the corridors of the pentagon. it requires managed expertise. does the secretary of defense really understand where the various political levers are in the pentagon that he needs to work on? where the influence is? how a budget is formed? who has the power? inside the military, in this very complex process and can he impact it? when you hire a secretary of defense, to some large extent you are hiring someone for that management expertise. the pentagon is one of the largest organizations in the world, and you need somebody who knows how to run it. that's what a secretary of defense does. the other big issue that he's walking into that people will be watching very closely, how he will advise on commi
for the top job at the pentagon. the announcement expected to be made in the last couple of days. reports the president has set isled on chuck hagel. why to you think he picked him given the republican opposition and some from the left flank as well? >> the only thing i can think of is that he believes hagel is as a kind of a maverick would not drink the kool-aid as the white house may see it on pentagon military spending and so on. this he would be a counter force over there and not an advocate for the armed forces in the way that even leon panetta has become. the warnings that we are hearing for example about the effect of the sequester so called on the pentagon the dire warnings have come from panetta not from the white house. the president isn't going around warning about that. leon panetta is. i think that is the reason. are other evacuees, i otherwisr course. really not a particularly distinguished record in the senate or anywhere else. i'm not suggesting he didn't fight valiantly when was himself a soldier, i'm not suggesting that. an odd guy. there is this tinge of suspicion about
with outgoing defense secretary leon panetta showed something about his intention to remake the pentagon. almost over the opposition of republican critics. >> the time has come for me to return to my wife silvia, our three sons, their families, our six grandchildren and my walnut farm. dealing with a different set of nuts. >> the confirmation fights ahead will be driven not just by criticism of hagel and brennan's record, but foreign policy approach. that's what's going on here. in the first term, the president showed he was going to give the washington establishment more deference with his foreign policy pick. he picked hillary clinton as secretary of state and jim jones was his additional national security adviser. none of that deference this time in a selection of hagel, of a kerry, of brennan. president's message is, i got this. it is clear this is a president who wants to leave an imprint on foreign policy. not just about the white house running it, but leaving an imprint everywhere else. he wants his guys to do it. he may not say it the same way bush said it after his re-election to a seco
is james clapper, a former three-star military man from the pentagon. under him are 16 intelligence agencies and the cia is one of those before that, the director of central intelligence had nominally have the coordination role. now, the cia is one of 16 but it is our primary spy agency. its role under the reorganization has become even more crucial. if you have seen "zero dark thirty," it shows the central the cia played in identifying the career and once we identified him, we found the house in about a block and then we found osama bin laden. host: senator john mccain said he wants to take a closer look at the interrogation policies of the bush administration and john brennan's involvement in that. guest: i applaud with john mccain said about interrogation. he has been saying for ever that torture does not work and he should know. he was in the hanoi hilton for so long and tortured by north vietnam during the war. he is right, in my view. i did serve on the intelligence committee for eight years. i was there in the 1990's and came back and was a ranking member. i think we should l
on the way to the pentagon was his lgbt rights. he rejected james hormel to be ambassador to luxembourg with frankly offensive comments. hagel told a local newspaper i'm quoting ambassadorial posts are sensitive. they're representing america. they're representing our lifestyles values and standards, and i think it's an inhibiting factor to be openly, aggressively gay like mr. hormel to do a better job. this was the late 90s and toxic homophobia was very common common, hagel has apologized for those remarks and said as secretary of defense he will support open service and lgbt military families. now the log cabin republicans the lgbt gay advocacy group did not seem too impressed. they put out an ad chuck hagel hagel's apology, too little, too late. james hormel, the man hagel rejected and slandered had a very different take. quote, senator hagel stated in his remarks that he was willing to support open military service and lgbt military families. if that is a commitment to treat lgbt services members and families like everybody else, i would support his nomination. starting with hagel i
, bloated. he said the pentagon needs to be pared down. senator hagel also endorsed a report by the group global zero that called for cutting the u.s. weapons arsenal by 80%. the overall goal of global zero, as its name implies, global zero, is global zero nuclear weapons. but this 80% cut in our arsenal is a way to get there is something that chuck hagel has supported. what is the new face of the american military going to be after the end of the longest war in american history, which is afghanistan? the second longest war in american history is vietnam. to have three vietnam veterans in the cabinet running veterans, running state, running defense is a remarkable milestone for veterans of that war, just as a population group, and one that didn't necessarily get treated right by this country when their time at war ended. but for all of us, for all of us, no matter how old we are, for all of us, whether or not we had any connection to the vietnam politics the first time around, for all of us there is the question now of whether the president's decision to turn to these three vietnam combat
is regarding the pentagon. little, if any. i think it's an incredibly controversial choice. and it looks like the second term of barack obama is going to be an in-your-face term. >> want to bring in our white house correspondent brianna keilar. we no that the white house has been calling out, trying to reach senators and get some support for hagel here. we're also hearing from jim acosta, trying to push back on this idea that he's anti-israel, that comments on the jewish lobby were poorly worded and he has apologized. are they confident they'll be able to push that nomination through and get a confirmation? >> reporter: talking to sources here, they feel pretty good about it. as you know, there are even democratic senators that have concerns. talking with sources at the white house, there is a sense that a number of things that chuck hagel will have to answer for in a confirmation process but there is a feeling here that he has good answers to the questions he will be asked and he may be able to win over some people. as you know, for instance, the comments where he said jewish lobby, when he
of the pentagon today. one of the top officials, the key advisors to the secretary of defense on all matters financial trying to figure out how to save money and execute efficiencies and deficiencies. we were building a post-cold war military as well as people on both sides of the aisle. bob was the comptroller of the air force during the administration and has also been the executive director of the american society of comptrollers. without further ado, please join me in welcoming one of my favorites, robert hale. [applause] >> good morning. how is everyone doing? listen, i am glad to be here. for a number of reasons. one of them is that comptrollers do not get invited out that much. i have a number of stories. bad news is you have a serious problem and if you don't have an immediate transplant, you're going to die. but the good news is i have three donors, you can choose any one of them. one of them is a former olympic athlete and prior to her demise, she was practicing every day for the olympics. another one was a former triathlon athlete and he was swimming and running everyday. the thir
is regarding pentagon little if any. so i think its controversial choice. >> jamie: would hagel survive a senate hearing? let's bring in ron bongene and margie o'meara. great to see both of you. it seems like both sides of the aisle agree that senator hagel can get a fair hearing but why is he best choice from democrats point of view? >> i think it's a strong choice from a really united american point of view. he earned two purple hearts. he is a republican senator who has not been part of the partisan bickering that people have grown to hate here. he has been endorsed by five former ambassadors to israel. he voted for $40 billion in aid to israel. he has been endorsed by four former security advisors and all those folks that have been appointed by republican and democratic administrations. i think he is strong pick and it would make sense for people to come together and confirm. >> jamie: do you think he was the president's first choice? >> i think certainly he has been a key pick. he has been somebody the president has been working with closely and think he has had a real relationship
in washington this morning with more on how his pentagon and cia nominations could prompt the next big fight on capitol hill. good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, everyone. we're already seeing democrats and republicans here with concerns about hagel. john brennan, protests by aclu and others on that nomination. protests outside the white house questioning whether john brennan spoke out loudly enough against controversial interrogation tactics. that's why brennan dropped out last time he was considered to head the cia. this time, he's courting both sides. >> although i consider myself neither a republican nor a democrat, i very much look forward to working closely with those on both sides of the aisle. >> reporter: but brennan's confirmation may not be as tough as chuck hagel's for secretary of defense. >> president, i'll give you my honest and most informed consens consensus. >> reporter: he has backed cuts at the pentagon. >> as a successful businessman, he also knows as we have tough fiscal choices we have to do so wisely. >> reporter: republicans and democrats are concerned ha
waiting for. >>> and a new report from the pentagon reveals some, well, totally new details about iran's spies. power down your little word game. i think your friends will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geico 24/7. sounds a little too good to be true sir. i'll believe that when pigs fly. ok, did she seriously just say that? geico. just click away with our free mobile app. everything you can fit vo: in this bag is 20% off. saving 20% on everything your company needs. it's a big deal. check your december 30th sunday paper or print the coupon at officemax.com. i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still "stubbed" up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ sighs ] thanks! [ male announcer ] you're welcome.
secretary of defense, did it make a difference in the pentagon? did it make a difference in that setting to have a woman at that high level? >> right. i think it absolutely did in several different ways, number one, she was just a real inspiration for a lot of young women and really encouraged them to go into jobs that were seen as being in male-dominated realms, secondly, she really brought in a terrific crew of women into leadership positions in the pentagon. you know, dramatically increased the number of women in the positions. and when you think about the rolodex, you tend to think of people you know, and men tend to know more men, and women know more women, so getting people in that high-ranking pentagon post, it occurred to her in the way it may not have occurred to men, that i know kathryn hicks, or jenean davis. and then finally, michelle fourneau put a lot of effort into making the policy, the place a family-friendly work place, not just important to women but men, an important issue. to find flexible work arrangements, and even in the pentagon when you deal with classified info
, picking a fight over the president's pentagon pick. one thing the left and the right can agree on. chuck hagel may have an uphill battle in the senate. next, we'll get the view from both sides. former romney campaign adviser dan seymour and dan clemens will be here for a debate. >>> first, a look ahead at the president's schedule. at 1:05 today is the official announcement of hagel and brennan. you're watching "daily rundown" on msnbc. i was overweight my whole life. i obsessed about my weight my whole life. and then, weight watchers. i amazed myself. get used to it. introducing the new weight watchers 360 program. join for free and expect amazing. because it works. join for free and expect amazing. so if ydead battery,t tire, need a tow or lock your keys in the car, geico's emergency roadside assistance is there 24/7. oh dear, i got a flat tire. hmmm. uh... yeah, can you find a take where it's a bit more dramatic on that last line, yeah? yeah i got it right here. someone help me!!! i have a flat tire!!! well it's good... good for me. what do you think? geico. fifteen minutes could save
served in the pentagon and people who served in the clinton pentagon that are well thought of on a bipartisan basis . i don't know why the president wants him maybe he likes the fact that chuck hagel complained about the power of the jewish lobby and one of the few senators who voted against the iran sanction and refused to desigate the iranian guard as terrorist group. maybe he likes that record. >> one of the things that hagel gets dinged on is one on one negotiations on the nuclear program. he said i am not a pace 50 and i believe in using force but only after a decision making process. i will do everything i can to avoid needless and senseless war. nina, is that unreasonable for a secretary of defense to have? >> it is in line with where the president is going in terms of use not putting troops on the ground anymore. he made that clear. he wants to rely on unmanned drones in afghanistan and fight terrorism that way. i think brit is right he's in line with the president on the issues and if you go forward and look at spending cut that is are going to have to come down in
a bloated pentagon was two years ago. since then both parties have agreed that the budget needs to be scaled back. and $487 billion has been cut over the following ten years. now the debate is how much more we should cut. my own view is we can cut a little bit more but not as much as sequestration would require. so again the confirmation hearings are going to be excellent opportunities to get into these matters. i don't know what senator hagel things about how much more deeply we can cut, he should be asked. but the pentagon was bigger than it needed to be in 2011 and that's commonly accepted idea at this point. >> jennifer: that's interesting. so that might be a bit of a red herring or at least an unimportant factor but the obama administration is reaching out to jewish groups to get his nomination. do you think statements related to israel are going to pose a problem for him? >> i don't know. i think it will cause some problems yes. it will probably lose him some votes, but i have been under the spotlight a lot less in my life than you have or senator hage
've all been waiting for. >>> and a new report from the pentagon reveals some, well, totally new details about iran's spies. i've always kept my eye on her... but with so much health care noise, i didn't always watch out for myself. with unitedhealthcare, i get personalized information and rewards for addressing my health risks. but she's still going to give me a heart attack. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. >>> our second story "outfront," slamming the president. "washington post" reporter and columnist david ignatius, who has covered six american presidents, suggests president obama is a disappointment. here's ignatius. "rather than come to the table with a grand vision of his own, a real strategy for cutting the deficit and the entitlement programs that drive it, obama played a poker game of incremental bargaining with house speaker john boehner. unfortunately, obama has been playing a waiting game on fiscal issues ever since he became president." "outfront" tonight, former white house deputy press secretary, bill burton. bill, there were some pretty harsh words here, toug
, the pentagon is a huge organization. check. hagel cofounded a company called van guard cellular systems which made him a multimillionaire. and knowing how to get things done in washington. check on that. hagel served two terms as a u.s. senator from nebraska and served as deputy administrator of the veterans administration. plus he's a republican nominated by a democrat, so it sounds pretty perfect, right? today, president obama told the nation why he loved chuck hagel. >> in the senate, i came to admire his courage and his judgment, his willingness to speak his mind, even if it wasn't popular. even if it defied the conventional wisdom. >> his willingness to speak his mind, no, is part of what's getting him in trouble with members of both parties. david frum is with us and also with us doug wilson, form pentagon senior spokesman for president obama. he has been criticized for using the term jewish lobby. he used it in a 2006 interview and here is what he said, quote, the political reality is that the jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here. i have always argued against the dumb thing
knows the hill. he's a soldier. he's been in combat and knows the pentagon. he's the right guy to do the job. >> john, tony brought up that he's a soldier. there's an argument of a civilian at the top of defense because perhaps keeps us going to war less easily or often. what do you think about having a soldier who's been there and done that at the top of the defense? >> i this is the best nomination the president's made in both of the taerms. he is controversial and stands for something. you know, chuck hagel's someone who i have known since 2007 when we were arguing against a troop increase in iraq and i can tell you on a personal level especially reading his book he cares what happens to the soldier or the marine on the ground embedded in combat and i think in afghanistan with green on blue killings, a question of projection of force and embedded with afghan troops, this is someone to say is this worth the sacrifice and there was a large debate in washington, d.c. prior to the increase of troops in afghanistan and hagel quietly was on the side that was against the president's plan
, is this budget battle. not necessarily here in the pentagon because, again, when the orders come down to cut this, cut that, cut this, the u.s. military has to oblige. they have to get it done. the biggest problem and this is where perhaps chuck hagel, you know, in terms of the kind of difficulties he's having now on capitol hill, may run in to some difficulty, is convincing members of congress up there on capitol hill who, in fact, take on their pet pork barrel projects, even though the pentagon has said we don't want those programs. we don't want those airplanes. congress, instead, votes -- goes ahead and votes for it because it means money and votes back home for many members of congress. so i think that ultimately will be the biggest challenge for secretary of defense chuck hagel if, in fact, he is confirmed, tamron. >> you took issue with what first read pointed out, which is the politics which is what i was starting out the conversation with you regarding, the politics of this, when you have general mcchrystal and we'll play him later today on the "today" show this morning talking about a d
and the policies and decision-making that formally had been with the pentagon. and it has been a cia mission, as you know, in large parts of pakistan and yemen and other places. so seeing how john brennan now in his new perch, if he is confirmed, and he was a career, 25-year career person at the cia and today they are welcoming him home if he gets confirmed, it's going to be very interesting to see how he decides to rebalance that, and whether he does move it back to the pentagon. >> so much attention on the hagel side of this has been paid to the relative handful of republican senators who have been complaining about chuck hagel and the conservative media figures who have been complaining. this one of the things where we're getting a squeaky wheel getting a lot of the attention? my thoughts about chuck hagel is he a consummate beltway choice. even if he does have his loud republican critics. what is your sense of the magnitude of the opposition to him? >> well, it's always very hard to predict when the opposition is going to achieve critical mass. he has extraordinarily deep roots, as you p
stand up to those generals in the pentagon. of course, the president did not serve in the military. and then with all these bruising battles in terms of the fiscal issues, the economy going forward, who better to sort of represent the white house when they try to downsize the pentagon in some form than perhaps a republican senator? thomas. >> nbc's peter alexander live at the white house for us. peter, thanks so much. >>> in talking more about the background of senator chuck hagel and whether or not he's going to be able to make it through the confirmation hearings, there have been certain people on all sides talking about his past. and there are lgbt rights groups who are not so fast to back off their criticism of senator chuck hagel. the group log cabin republicans recently took out a full page ad or ads, that is, the latest one appearing in today's "washington post." the other first appears "new york times" in the saying hagel is wrong on lgbt rights, israel and iran. gregory angelo is the interim executive director of the log cabin republicans and joining me here in studio. gre
years working for michelle flournoy at the pentagon. great to see you. thanks for your time. >> glad to be here, rachel. >> in terms of the raw numbers, the obama administration is roughly equivalent to the clinton administration in terms of female appointees. it is doing better than the bush administration. but you feel like they're worthy of some criticism on this subject? >> oh, i hold president obama to a pretty high standard. i would like to think after the eight years of the bush administration, we could do a little better than the clinton administration, not just go back to the clinton administration. although i have to say, if i were valerie jarrett and i were about to go off the fiscal cliff, i would hide behind jay carney too. >> on the issue of michelle flournoy, you're not totally objecting on this. she is highly regarded in washington, not just by you, but by pretty much everybody in the defense establishment. were you surprised that she didn't get the nod? were you surprised that chuck hagel specifically did? >> i was surprised. i thought it was a fantastic opportunity
are supportive of israel. i don't know what his management experience is regarding the pentagon, little, if any. so i think it's an incredibly controversial choice, and it looks like the second term of barack obama is going to be an in your face term. >> reporter: and we should also note that mitch mcconnell, the senate minority leader, the top republican here in the senate, made some softer comments on the other sunday talk shows. he was saying that chuck hagel will get some thorough vetting, will get tough kwequestions, bue was not talking about it in the same stark terms as senator graham. president obama is making this nomination with congress out of town, so there's also time for this nomination to melt away. we'll have to see. >>> i want to take a closer look now at the anti-israel claims against hagel through the eyes of a seasoned diplomat. nicholas burns is a former undersecretary of state. he joins us by phone. good morning, mr. ambassador. >> good morning. >> before we speak, i want to tell people exactly what hagel said that -- those comments that are haunting him today. in one stat
at the congressional budget office. fantastic career in national security. as noted, comptroller of the pentagon today. one of the top officials, the key adviser to the secretary of defense on all matters financial. not only in terms of building budgets but executing them and trying to figure out how to save money and execute efficiencies and reforms within the defense budget. bob has a long career in national security. he was a navy officer at the beginning of his career he worked at the center for naval analyses, work for the logistics management institute early in his career and again later. he was my boss at the congressional budget office during the period, well, for a number of years, but including during the period when the berlin wall had just come down and rebuild a post-cold war military. working with people like senator sam nunn and aspen as most people on both sides of the aisle. bob was the comptroller of the air force during the clinton administration and has also been the executive director of the american society of military comptrollers. and so without further ado, please join me in w
the lead at the pentagon from leon pennetta, who offered some parting thoughts during the announcement. take a listen. >> the time has come for me to return to my wife, sylvia, our three sons, their families, our six grandchildren and my walnut farm. dealing with a different set of nuts. [ laughter ] >> i guess when you're out-going, mark halperin, you can do that. >> look, he's a funny guy and he survived in washington in public service for 50 years in the military in executive branch and congress being not just serious and smart and dedicated but a really funny and nice guy. incredible story. i was glad to see amist thedst announcement of the new nominees he got his ceremony and i'm sure there will be more in the next couple of weeks. >> a vietnam soldier and veteran has been nominated as the next secretary of defense and the president emphasized hagel's government service and personal connection to the organization he's now been nominated to run. >> chuck represents the bipartisan tradition we need more of in washington. for his independence and commitment to consensus, he's earned
setled on chuck hagel to lead the pentagon. it comes despite many indications that he would face rocky confirmation hearing. he has a history of blunted statements including a reference to, quote. jewish lobby as an intimidating force on capitol hill that would draw scrutiny. once more he has at times resisted sanctions against iran for its nuclear program and balked efforts to designate hezbollah as a terrorist group. >> i have serious reservations on some of his statements in the past. >> reporter: supporters say his infantry service where he was awarded two purple hearts make it superbly qualified. a group wrote to obama to throw his support behind hagel that enjoys the backing that one opinion that matters most. >> he is patriot and he has done extraordinary work. somebody that has served this country with valor in vietnam. somebody who is currently serving on my intelligence advisory board. >> reporter: the white house said no decision has been made on the top pentagon spotted. >> jamie: what kind of confirmation are we in for if the president does nominate him? assistant to vice
the department at the pentagon. a number of republicans have had issues with hagel. he has reportedly erected talks with hamas, some say he is not pro- israel enough. it has a number of republicans lined up against him in opposition. >> he has long severed ties with the republican party. this is an in-your-face nomination by the president. i do not know what is management experience is regarding the pentagon. i think it is an incredibly controversial choice. rich: this sets up a big fight in the u.s. senate. this at a time when those automatic defense cuts have been delayed for two months and that fiscal cliff deal. there are major questions in washington on defense spending going forward. this is a pretty timely opponent or appointment for the president when you consider all that is going on with not only the federal budget, but the defense budget. connell: thank you, rich edson. dagen: let's bring in matt welch. how do these nominations play into, again, the defense cuts that are on tap and other cuts that are on hand? >> first of all, happy birthday. congratulations on being able to drink.
's pick to run the pentagon. jennifer griffin on the first enlisted soldier to be so hoorpd katherine heritage tells us john brennan's road may be a little bumpy. let's begin with wendall goler. >> good evening. president obama is nominating the former republican senator to be secretary of defense and 25-year veteran of the c.i.a. to head the agency. >> these two leaders have dedicated their lives to protect the country. i urge the senate to confirm them as soon as possible. >> but hagel's selection grew more criticism and the choice of john brennan threatened to raise questions about water boarding that he didn't want to answer when he was considered four years ago. had a ha ge8, obama said would be an outspoken advocate for severs men and women. and his business experience will help him prioritize pentagon spending cuts that everyone knows is coming. >> even though we make tough fiscal choices we have to do so wisely guided by a our stlaj and keep the military the strongest fighting force. >> reporter: but it drew immediate fire. it was a 14-year-old comment about a diplomat being a
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